Climate change has ushered in an unpleasant phenomenon that I have dubbed the “January Thaw.” As I cruise through life with an appreciation of the seasons that can best be described as awe & protest, I desire consistency. In spring and autumn I wish to bask in the season’s beauty and moderate temperatures. In summer and winter I must complain of the weather severity and quiver with anticipation for its seemingly never approaching end.
But these last several January’s I have not been unable to complain to my full potential because mid-month has shoveled in a mind-boggling and body confusing 60 degree melt down. Snow disappears, t-shirts must be dug out and the hounds make the house look like a mud wrestling pit.
Many people love these mid-winter teases. I however am completely unamused. My brain is not fooled. I know for a fact that it is only days away before sub-freezing temperatures grip me like Flick’s tongue to the lightpost. My body however is completely fooled. Normally, after that January thaw I am completely incapable of keeping myself warm again. No matter how many sweaters I don, no matter how many logs I put on the fire or how much anti-freeze I consume, once I thaw – I’m done with winter.
Until this year. Being a woman of a certain 52 year old age, I have come to the phase of life where I often wake up in the night, usually damp (not the good kind) and my internal furnace bathes me in a flush of embarrassment inducing heat (also not the good kind). This was actually working out for me this winter. For the first time in my life my fingers stayed warm in December and I was able to wear my Uggs without socks in January. I didn’t wear a down coat once.
Then came the thaw. 60 degrees, Cleveland – really? I not only dug out t-shirts, I was looking for tank tops, shorts, capris, bathing suits and extra strength Dove deodorant. I was not pleased. I let others know I was not pleased. I threatened to move to Montreal for the remainder of the season. My internal furnace was exhibiting itself as a supernatural red flare starting in my toes and exiting with a blush across my cheeks and a plume out the top of my head. In December it had been merely acting invisibly as an internal combustion engine, but during the January Thaw it was on display in all its raging glory. I intensely disliked the January Thaw this year.
Luckily winter has returned. I went cross-country skiing this morning in merely jeans and a hoodie and I was ecstatic. In a couple of weeks, just before spring break I will begin my annual lament about this interminably long winter season. I am consistent.